To Post, or Not to Post – That Is the Question: Employee Monitoring and Employees’ Right to Data Protection
Nowadays social media have a growing importance in several areas of our lives. They are used for numerous objectives: self-expression, keeping in touch with acquaintances, communication or obtaining information about the latest events and news. During their use the individual shares a significant amount of personal data. This conduct can have serious implications for employment. The (prospective) employer is interested in the surveillance of these sites for several reasons, as he/she can easily gain insight into the individual’s private life and obtain, without costs, detailed information about him/her. The legal problem arising is that the employee’s fundamental rights – namely the right to privacy and the right to data protection – collide with the employer’s legitimate interests.
The aim of the paper is to highlight the different rights and interests present on the two sides of the parties in the employment relationship; focusing on the employee’s right to data protection and on the employer’s legitimate interests in monitoring employees. As a result of the paper, I will draw attention to the legal problems lying behind social network background checks and monitoring. I will provide recommendations on how users and employers can continue using these sites while still preserving privacy.
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